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CX, Communities, Metaverse: Top social media trends in India & APAC

CX, Communities, Metaverse: Top social media trends in India & APAC

Social media is constantly ablaze with consumer feedback and opinions, with up to 4 million brand connections being made per day. But how much of this volume is simply buzz? Which are the social media trends and consumer behaviors that brands should really be paying attention to?

In the Social Media Trends 2023 report, Talkwalker and Khoros leveraged year-long research, platform insights, and the consultation of 80+ marketing experts and influencers worldwide, to discern ten must-watch trends for marketers in 2023.

Download our Social Media Trends 2023 report

In addition to introducing 6 of the 10 trends in our report, this blog takes a leaf from the playbooks of our regional experts, and draws examples from the Asia Pacific market and brand campaigns. Let’s take a closer look.

6 - The metaverse rush

While metaverses are a nascent technology, many brands are already experimenting with its possibilities to create more visceral consumer connections. It isn’t just brands that are interested in getting a slice of the metaverse pie - cities like Dubai and Indonesia are making heavy investments too - and consumers want a say in it.

Social media trends - The metaverse rush

Brands and marketers are concerned with at least two things about metaverses - (a) how to measure the effectiveness of these campaigns, and (b) what kind of possibilities they present for new types of brand-consumer interactions.

Based on Talkwalker data, there have been at least 5.9M conversations generated over the past year, with a range of love-hate sentiments. And that’s just drawing from a 25% sample audience across five countries in Southeast Asia!

Read our guest blog by Soh Wan Wei (Co-founder & CEO, Ikiguide Metaverse Collective) for a more detailed introduction to the metaverse concept, and hear from brands at the forefront of these experiments via the Talkwalker x Marketech APAC metaverse on-demand webinar.

5 - Communities will trump personas

As you’ll hear from senior tech and entertainment marketer Dipashree Das, “community is the ultimate brand currency” in today’s hyper digitalized world. The pandemic and its aftermath have left behind a very different breed of consumer - one that is rapidly adapting, with a new range of interests and drivers. Communities such as the Financial Twitter (#FinTwit) community, have become an important anchor for consumers, and can also serve as a source of consumer insight for brands, helping them navigate these waves of change.

Social media trends - Communities will trump personas

Bombay Shaving Company develops products by actively tapping into the voice of the community. This has increased the brand's growth and relevance in the men’s grooming segment.

2023 will see brands move further away from personas and target their broader brand communities. To tap into communities successfully, they will need to gain a deeper knowledge of their ecosystems, and understand exactly who is driving and sharing brand-focused conversations. Find out how the University of Sydney leveraged consumer intelligence, to promote brand loyalty and affinity amongst its student communities during the pandemic.

How the University of Sydney proves the value of social media

4 - Multi-sensory social media

Whether it is short-form video, or social audio, new formats emerge each year to challenge the status quo. Brands like Campbell are even pushing the envelope of what is possible when it comes introducing multi-sensory experiences. Let’s take for example the soup-flavored scented candles they launched in January 2022. Are you ready for a whiff of tomato soup & grilled cheese?

Social media trends - Multi-sensory content

Why should brands be concerned with finding the ‘umami’ in their social media content? Hear more from Duroflex CMO Smita Murarka.

India’s Flipkart is a great example of a brand in the region that is keeping up with evolving customer needs and preferences, by re-inventing what it means to shop online. Ahead of the festive season in 2021, Flipkart integrated Snap’s Camera Kit into its app, giving users the ability to virtually try on products or view them in their physical world. This immersive e-commerce experience via an AR-enabled camera helped customers to make more informed purchases, and take advantage of the season’s discounts.

2 - The rise of social commerce

Social commerce is booming, especially in India and Southeast Asia, where increased mobile internet penetration has given rise to large mobile-first generations that spend a lot of time on social media. The importance of communal belonging in these traditionally collectivist societies is also helping to fuel the social commerce model, whereby influencers and community leaders generate sales by marketing to their friends and family.

Social media trends - The rise of social commerce

Why should brands be concerned with finding the ‘umami’ in their social media content? Hear more from Duroflex CMO Smita Murarka.

Today, social media platforms like TikTok are creating more seamless online shopping experiences, so brands will need to plan ahead with expanding their digital shopfronts. Find out how we’ve leveraged Talkwalker to stay on top of some of these digital commerce trends in Indonesia.

Read the full Social Media Trends 2023 report

2 - Customer experience will get even more social

Across categories, the post-pandemic consumer has become more concerned with urgency and immediacy – and this has had an impact on the bottom line. According to a recent study, negative customer experiences (CX) are costing global businesses some US$4.7 trillion, with businesses in Singapore seeing US$11 billion per annum in lost spending for the same reason. This requires that more brands dedicate in-channel social media support in 2023, in order to deliver efficient solutions and responses to customers.

Social media trends - CX will get even more social

Social listening unlocks but one source of customer feedback (i.e. social media). Find out how Talkwalker’s review data also provides brands with a view of their platform and product reviews across the web. Now, on to our final trend...

1 - Social media will meet a new standard

With proliferation of deepfake technology and AI-generated video content, there have become more ways for misinformation and disinformation to slip past consumers’ lie detectors. As it stands, Southeast Asian governments have been actively cracking down on fake news sources, but too much regulation and censorship has had the opposite effect of driving consumers to social media in the search for less partisan content.

Social media trends - Social media will meet a new standard

Brands and platforms will need to take action quickly in detecting and addressing falsehoods, or risk facing a breaking point. Not all remedies need to take the form of a press release - the works of pop culture artists like Kendrick Lamar are making a public statement by raising awareness of deepfake technology through entertainment. This shows how more can be done by brands to proactively educate their consumers, and guard against the infodemic.

The most important social media trends to watch in 2023

2023 looks to be abound with new uncertainties and a new set of challenges for brands and platforms. By leveraging a consumer-first strategy, with a listening ear on the ground for conversations and trends, it is still possible to stay on top of the shifting demands. Real-time consumer intelligence will give regional marketers the sharper edge.

Now, don’t forget that we have more nuggets of insight for you - so download the full report and dig into the discussion. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Social media trends - India and APAC